published Saturday, February 1st, 2014

18 horses die in stable fire and other news from areas around Chattanooga

18 horses die in stable fire

BISHOP, Ga. — Authorities say 18 horses have died in an early morning fire that destroyed their stable at a Northeast Georgia equestrian center.

Oconee County Fire Chief Bruce Thaxton said the blaze was reported at 1:36 a.m. Friday at the Brookwood Equestrian Center near the small town of Bishop.

Thaxton said one of the 18 horses was able to get out of the barn, but was injured so badly that it had to be put down.

He said the state fire marshal and Oconee County sheriff's investigators are trying to determine what caused the blaze and where it started.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports that seven tanker trucks and 28 volunteer firefighters responded to the fire. It had been reported by a tenant who lived at the boarding and training facility.


Alexander reports $3.2 million for race

NASHVILLE — U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander's campaign says it raised nearly $770,000 in the fourth quarter and that it ended the year with $3.2 million on hand.

Alexander, a former Tennessee governor, is running for a third term in the Senate. He raised about $4.7 million in 2013, and his minute-long television ads have been in heavy rotation around the state.

He is being challenged in the Republican primary by state Rep. Joe Carr, of Murfreesboro, who said he raised $250,000 in the fourth quarter, after raising just $52,000 in the previous reporting period.

Carr, who in August dropped a congressional bid to instead challenge Alexander, raised about $609,000 in 2013 and had $405,000 remaining at the end of the quarter.


Lorraine Motel balcony closed

MEMPHIS — The National Civil Rights Museum is closing access to the Lorraine Motel Balcony and Room 306 as part of the museum tour until renovations are finished.

The last day for balcony tours will be Sunday.

The museum is at the site of the former Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

It's undergoing a $27 million renovation and a $40 million capital and endowment fundraising campaign.

The newly renovated museum is expected to open in April.


Children's museum shutting down

MACON, Ga. — The Georgia Children's Museum in downtown Macon is closing.

The museum's executive director, Mary Cay McCullough, said the museum will close at the end of this week.

The Macon Telegraph reported that the museum opened in 2005 and has been part of recent revitalization efforts in Macon's downtown area.

The museum's operators had sold the building housing the museum to a developer about a year ago, and loft apartments are being built. Museum officials had planned to continue the museum on the ground floor but announced this week that it will close instead.

McCullough said the museum doesn't have the funding or the support "to expand the exhibits the way we need to to keep things fresh and new."

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